Feature | February 18, 2015

Wearable Monitors Reduce Costs of Arrhythmia Detection Versus Holter Monitors

iRhythm, ZIO Service, arrhythmia detection, wearable, Holter monitors

February 18, 2015 — iRhythm Technologies Inc. announced the study, “Cost Analysis and Clinical Outcomes of Ambulatory Care Monitoring in Medicare Patients,” was published in the Journal of Health Economics and Outcomes Research. The study assessed the costs incurred in the diagnosis, additional monitoring and following clinical events after the initial use of the Holter monitor among Medicare patients with arrhythmia.

Researchers performed a retrospective, longitudinal claims analysis using a 5 percent random sample of Medicare beneficiaries' claims from the Fee-for-Service (FFS) Standard Analytic Files. The analysis was limited to patients with full benefits for one year prior and two years post the index 24- or 48-hour Holter monitor, with no prior arrhythmia or Holter.

The study, which was funded by iRhythm, suggests that the lack of diagnosis or the need for additional testing after the initial use of the Holter monitor resulted in $45 million, or slightly more than $23,000 per patient, in wasted spending by Medicare. When extrapolated over the entire Medicare Fees-for-Service population, the total was more than $900 million over the two-year study period in wasted spending.

“Arrhythmias are difficult to diagnose. A Holter monitor is typically used to record the heart's electrical signals for a 24- or 48-hour period. However, arrhythmias do occur outside that window,” said Judy Lenane, RN, MHA, executive vice president and chief clinical officer of iRhythm Technologies, Inc.

In a separate analysis conducted by an independent third-party research organization, Decision Driver Analytics Inc., preliminary findings showed that initial use of iRhythm’s Zio Service is expected to reduce two-year costs of diagnosing and managing arrhythmia by an average of $5,500 per patient compared to the Holter monitor.

Furthermore, previous studies have shown the Zio Service ruled in or ruled out arrhythmia in an average of three to four weeks compared to only 36 percent of patients obtaining a definitive diagnosis within two years of their initial diagnostic with a Holter monitor. In addition, in patients with arrhythmia, the Zio Service provided immediate diagnosis, eliminating the need for additional diagnostic testing and enabling immediate and appropriate treatment 94 percent of the time.

The Zio Service integrates biosensor technology that captures electrocardiography data for up to 14 days, analytics and medical expertise for improved arrhythmia detection.

For more information: www.irhythmtech.com

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